Your handsome dog probably thinks that he’s quite the pooch. After all, he’s your best friend and a model family member when he’s not stealing food off of the kitchen table. Consequently, you might not want to tell him that some famous dogs can put his acting and entertainment skills to shame. There’s no point in wounding his pride like that.
Countless canine stars have been in movies and TV shows. You’re probably familiar with the famous movie star and tv show dogs Rin Tin Tin, Lassie, Beethoven, and Marley. There are also many famous animated dogs, like Bolt, Lady and the Tramp, and Scooby Doo. Today, we’ll be giving you a crash course on canine pop culture by discussing some of the most revered celebrity dogs in recent history.
Famous Celebrity Dogs
These dogs didn’t just play famous characters; they are celebrities in their own right. Some of these canine stars have played multiple roles in different films and television shows.
Sometimes called Air Buddy, this golden retriever is best known for his portrayal of Buddy in the 1997 movie Air Bud. When he was found by Kevin di Cicco, he was a disheveled stray wandering the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Di Cicco taught him to play numerous sports, including basketball. IMDB reports that Buddy has also appeared on America’s Funniest Home Videos, the Late Show with David Letterman, and the Kids’ Choice Awards. Buddy was also in a movie called Fluke and played Comet in the television series Full House.
Lassie is one of the most famous canine characters. Oddly enough, the first dog to play the female Lassie was Pal, a male long-haired collie. Pal starred in the feature film Lassie Come Home in 1943. He starred in six more feature-length Lassie films (as well as the pilots for the television show) over the course of his impressive career.
Pal had a bad habit of chasing motorcycles. Animal trainer Howard Peck brought Pal to Rudd Weatherwax, another animal trainer, to break him of the problem. Eventually, Peck ended up giving Pal to Weatherwax because he was unable to curb this dangerous behavior. That was good news for Weatherwax, who thought Pal might be a perfect fit for Lassie when he heard that the 1940 novel would be made into a movie.
Pal was rejected for the role, but he served as the stunt dog for the main canine actor. When the leading dog wouldn’t jump into the water for a swimming scene, Pal stepped in. The executives decided to swap out the animals, hiring Pal for the part instead. That was Pal’s lucky break into the entertainment industry. Interestingly, every canine that played the role of Lassie after Pal died was related to the original actor.
The Parson Russell terrier that played Eddie Crane on the sitcom Frasier was really a rambunctious dog named Moose. Moose only trained for six months before beginning to film. According to a biography on Canidae, the human actors praised Moose for his professionalism. Considering the fact that Moose’s original owners gave him up because he was so hard to handle, this pup must have received extensive behavioral training before he reached the set.
Moose enjoyed working. It seemed like the focus and purpose that his career provided calmed him down. He could do just about anything that his trainers asked of him. And when he wasn’t wowing the other actors with his incredible performances, Moose would engage Kelsey Grammar in staring matches for laughs.
Later on in his career, Moose starred in the movie My Dog Skip. The dog’s son, Enzo, played the younger Skip in that film. Enzo also went on to play Eddie on Frasier after Moose retired. Moose passed away in 2006 when he was 16 years old.
Soccer is one of the most well-known TV star dogs. He is perhaps most notorious for playing Wishbone on the PBS series of the same name. He liked to crack jokes as he recounted classic stories like “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” The show was like a dog’s version of Masterpiece Theater for children.